tcomboClick on this image to bring up a larger and somewhat easier to read version. It’s hard to make it fit into the constraints of this blog due to the proportions of the actual building.

I’ll take credit for the floor layout bar the ensuite and bathroom which are Darren’s ideas based on what we described we wanted.

In the elevation you are looking at the “front” of the house, despite this actually facing away from the road. This has the view that I put up as the header image for this blog. All the windows on this side are awnings as it is windy and conventional sliding windows would rattle incessantly.  You’ll notice very few windows to the south and west (top and left of the floorplan) as these are where the predominant winds blow in, bringing dust in summer and driving rain in winter. There is one large expanse of glass to the north wall of the house, and this is intended to help with passive solar heating.

We’ve stepped down the verandah and shed to suit the contour of the housing site, and this will also keep us within the council’s stipulated 1.5 metre maxiumum depth excavation for the housing site. As yet we are undecided on whether to pave or deck this area, paving being non combustible is the smart choice but decking can be so sexy and seductive it may just win out in the end.

Other designed features:
The large amount of solid wall around the entry. We’ll have the fireplace in this corner and the massive amount of thermal mass will mean heat continues to radiate into the room long after that fire has burnt out.  Above this we’ll have a fan that pulls the hot air above the fire and flows it back gently into  the sleeping and wet areas and this will be our heating.

The return verandah. The slope and cut in of the site of the house means this verandah will virtually prevent the sun hitting the westerly wall at all, winter or summer. The eastern side (the view) has poly carbonate offset from the window in angles carefully worked out by Darren so the winter sun will penetrate the house until about 11.30am where I’ve calculated that in summer that verandah will already be shading the house by around 9.30am. On the northern side of the house, the only side without the return, summer sun is excluded all day while in winter the direct sunlight will flood in almost all day to gently heat the slab.

The not so open plan. We’ve lived in a house that was almost completely open excepting the bedrooms and bathrooms. It was very noisy and bloody expensive to heat and cool as well. With this design we have one main living area which can be shut off from the rest of the house. All the rooms beyond this can also be isolated, important for climate control as well as noise.

Big thanks yet again to Darren for his work on this project and for letting me publish the designs.

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